Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES (or DAVYS ), MATTHEW ( fl. 1620 ), politician ,

was the eldest son of Edward Davies of Chiches Grove (or Chisgrove ), Wilts. , and of the same family as Sir John Davies ( 1569 - 1626 ), poet and lawyer (see D.N.B. ). Probably a client of the earls of Pembroke , he was returned, under the 3rd earl 's patronage, for Cardiff in James I 's first Parliament ( 5 Mar. 1604 ), making a strong stand for the interests of the borough against the proposal to divert trade by bridging the Wye at Chepstow . He entered Middle Temple 4 April 1614 , and again sat for Cardiff in the Addled Parliament ( 1614 ), where he took the lead (with many patriotic orations) in the agitation against clause 119 of the Act of Union , serving as chairman when the abortive Bill for its repeal went into committee, and also supporting Sabbatarian legislation and the attack on the electoral malpractices of Sir Thomas Parry (q.v.) as chancellor of the duchy . In later Parliaments he sat for English constituencies, at first within the Pembroke sphere of influence in Wiltshire , but he ceased to take any notable part in debates. Having ‘deserted’ his seat in the Long Parliament , he was ‘disabled,’ for refusing to attend on summons ( 15 March 1643 ). His home was at this time at Shaftesbury , a Pembroke pocket borough.


  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1942 , 31, 35-6, 70-1;
  • The Journals of the House of Commons , iii, 4;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 106;
  • Sturgess , Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, 1501–1944 (1949) , i, 102.


Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959